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CardShark Content - Stanley Rutkowski III (6/16/2002)

With the rotation of sets out of the extended environment, a lot has changed. I believe that as a whole the environment has slowed down a bit. With that in mind, here is a new “combo” type deck that just might fit the bill in the new extended. As opposed to the current type two environment, the extended still has a great deal of “tutor” type cards from sixth edition in it. If a Battle of Wits
Battle of Wits
Battle of WitsSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
69
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 200 or more cards in your library, you win the game.
deck can make top eight in a standard Grand Prix without the benefit of all the tutors and “free” counterspells, I think that a much more powerful version can cause a ripple in the extended world. A draw back to this deck is the fact that as soon as you sit across from your opponent, they know what you are playing. The enormous stack of cards you present for the cut is a dead giveaway of your winning strategy. Keeping in mind that this is going to be a “combo” deck with control backup, I designed the deck with three colors in mind. Granted the omission of Red and Green does take away some tutors, the three colors helps with the manna consistency lost in the rotation of the dual lands.

Lets start with the tutors available in our colors:

4 x Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. You lose 2 life.

4 x Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic TutorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Rick Farrell
Text:
Search your library for a card, and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

4 x Mystical Tutor
Mystical Tutor
Mystical TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
83
Artist:
David O'Connor
Text:
Search your library for an instant or sorcery card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.

4 x Enlightened Tutor
Enlightened Tutor
Enlightened TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Search your library for an artifact or enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.

4 x Intuition
Intuition
IntuitionSet: Tempest
Cost:
3
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
Search your library for any three cards and reveal them to target opponent. He or she chooses one. Put that card into your hand and the rest into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.

4 x Insidious Dreams
Insidious Dreams
Insidious DreamsSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
66
Text:
As an additional cost to play Insidious Dreams, discard X cards from your hand. Search your library for X cards. Then shuffle your library and put those cards on top of it in any order.

4 x Academy Rector
Academy Rector
Academy RectorSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
1
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Academy Rector is put into a graveyard from play, you may remove Academy Rector from the game. If you do, search your library for an enchantment card and put that card into play. Then shuffle your library.

4 x Soothsaying
Soothsaying
SoothsayingSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
104
Artist:
Pat Morrissey
Text:
3UU: Shuffle your library.X: Look at the top X cards of your library and put them back in any order.

(32) Total

That’s a total of 32 tutors to help you set up your win condition. I did not include the “wishes” from the new set. I am considering moving a copy of battle of wits to the sideboard to include 8 more tutor abilities.

Now lets look at the counterspells available to us in our colors:

4 x Counterspell
Counterspell
CounterspellSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Counters target spell as it is being cast.

4 x Thwart
Thwart
ThwartSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
108
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
You may return three islands you control to their owner's hand instead of paying Thwart's mana cost.Counter target spell.

4 x Foil
Foil
FoilSet: Prophecy
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
34
Artist:
Bradley Williams
Text:
You may discard an island and another card from your hand instead of paying Foil's mana cost. Counter target spell.

4 x Undermine
Undermine
UndermineSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
282
Artist:
Massimilano Frezzato
Text:
Counter target spell. Its controller loses 3 life.

4 x Absorb
Absorb
AbsorbSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
226
Artist:
Andrew Goldhawk
Text:
Counter target spell. You gain 3 life.

4 x Dismiss
Dismiss
DismissSet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Counter target spell. Draw a card.

4 x Misdirection
Misdirection
MisdirectionSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
87
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
You may remove a blue card in your hand from the game instead of paying Misdirection's mana cost.Target spell with a single target targets another target instead.

4 x Daze
Daze
DazeSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
30
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
You may return an island you control to its owner's hand instead of paying Daze's mana cost. Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1.

4 x Dromar’s Char
Char
CharSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Char deals 4 damage to target creature or player and 2 damage to you.
m
(36) Total

That’s 36 counterspells to protect ourselves and our combo. This number could be increased with the addition of Power Sink
Power Sink
Power SinkSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
Target spell is countered unless its caster spends X more mana. Caster of target spell must draw and spend all available mana from lands and mana pool until X is spent; he or she may also spend mana from other sources if desired. If this is not enough mana, target spell will still be countered.
or Syncopate
Syncopate
SyncopateSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X. If that spell is countered this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
. Thus far this seems to be a good ratio (14%, plus if you have the battle in you hand you can use a tutor for the counter that best fits your current needs).

Let’s now look at our removal, incase our combo takes some time to setup, we can deal with creatures and/or other problematic cards in our opponents hands or in play.

4 x Innocent Blood
Innocent Blood
Innocent BloodSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
145
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Each player sacrifices a creature.

4 x Chainer’s Edict
4 x Diabolic Edict
Diabolic Edict
Diabolic EdictSet: Tempest
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature.

4 x Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.

4 x Rout
Rout
RoutSet: Invasion
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
34
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
You may play Rout any time you could play an instant if you pay 2 more to play it.Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.

4 x Lobotomy
Lobotomy
LobotomySet: Tempest
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Look at target player's hand and choose any of those cards other than a basic land. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of the chosen card and remove them from the game. That player shuffles his or her library afterwards.

4 x Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.

4 x Addle
Addle
AddleSet: Invasion
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand and choose a card of that color from it. That player discards that card.

4 x Zombie Infestation
Zombie Infestation
Zombie InfestationSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
170
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Discard two cards from your hand: Put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.
(Can be an alternate kill mechanism, but in the deck more for blocking purposes and for a target for misdirection if they have a way to eliminate a battle on the table)
(36) Total

Since we are working as a combo deck, we need to look at some protection as well. This is the part of the deck that may need some refining.

2 x ROP Green
2 x ROP Blue
2 x ROP Black
2 x ROP Red
2 x ROP White
2 x Rune of Protection Artifacts
Rune of Protection Artifacts
Rune of Protection ArtifactsSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
35
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
W: Prevent all damage to you from an artifact source. (Treat further damage from that source normally.) Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
(Masticore
Masticore
MasticoreSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may choose and discard a card from your hand. If you don't, sacrifice Masticore.2: Masticore deals 1 damage to target creature.2: Regenerate Masticore.
and Cursed Scroll
Cursed Scroll
Cursed ScrollSet: Oversize Cards
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
X
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
3, T:Name a card. Target opponent chooses a card at random from your hand. If he or she chooses the named card, Cursed Scoll deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
)
4 x Disenchant
Disenchant
DisenchantSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Amy Weber
Text:
Target enchantment or artifact is destroyed.

4 x Seal of Cleansing
Seal of Cleansing
Seal of CleansingSet: Nemesis
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
18
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Cleansing: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

(20) Total

Even though Runes of Protection need white to activate, they can be cycled away if needed. Even more, the cycling helps with the Enlightened Tutor
Enlightened Tutor
Enlightened TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
19
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
Search your library for an artifact or enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
and Mystical Tutor
Mystical Tutor
Mystical TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
83
Artist:
David O'Connor
Text:
Search your library for an instant or sorcery card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
to get the card into my hand.

Aegis of honor might be a suitable replacement for a couple of the ROP’s to find room for some extra card drawing, but since the environment is pretty wide open at this point, safe might be better than sorry. This is an area that has room for tweaking if the metagame becomes more defined. If Pernicious Deed
Pernicious Deed
Pernicious DeedSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
114
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
X, Sacrifice Pernicious Deed: Destroy each artifact, creature, and enchantment with converted mana cost X or less.
becomes a defining card in the environment extra enchantment removal might be necessary, but with the tutors I thought a starting point of 8 copies plus all the counters would be a good base to begin with.

This deck also can get color smoothing and acceleration from artifacts.

4 x Charcoal Diamond
Charcoal Diamond
Charcoal DiamondSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
276
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
Charcoal Diamond comes into play tapped.T: Add B to your mana pool.

4 x Marble Diamond
Marble Diamond
Marble DiamondSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
298
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
Marble Diamond comes into play tapped.T: Add W to your mana pool.

4 x Sky Diamond
Sky Diamond
Sky DiamondSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
311
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Sky Diamond comes into play tapped.T: Add U to your mana pool.

4 x Mox Diamond
Mox Diamond
Mox DiamondSet: Stronghold
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
132
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
When Mox Diamond comes into play, choose and discard a land card or sacrifice Mox Diamond.T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.

4 x Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic SphereSet: Invasion
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
299
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
1, T, Sacrifice Chromatic Sphere: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Draw a card.

(20) Total

Win Condition:
4 x Battle of Wits
Battle of Wits
Battle of WitsSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
69
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 200 or more cards in your library, you win the game.


And now to the lands:

4 x Salt Marsh
Salt Marsh
Salt MarshSet: Invasion
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
326
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli
Text:
Salt Marsh comes into play tapped.T: Add U or B to your mana pool.

4 x Underground River
Underground River
Underground RiverSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add U or B to your mana pool. Underground River deals 1 damage to you.

4 x Adacar Waste
4 x Costal Tower
4 x Caves of Koilos
Caves of Koilos
Caves of KoilosSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add W or B to your mana pool. Caves of Koilos deals 1 damage to you.

4 x City of Brass
City of Brass
City of BrassSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Text:
Whenever City of Brass becomes tapped, it deals 1 damage to you.T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

4 x Dromar’s Cavern
4 x Tainted Isle
Tainted Isle
Tainted IsleSet: Torment
Color:
Land
Type:
land
Rarity:
U
Number:
141
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. T: Add U or B to your mana pool. Play this ability only if you control a swamp.

4 x Tainted Field
Tainted Field
Tainted FieldSet: Torment
Color:
Land
Type:
land
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. T: Add W or B to your mana pool. Play this ability only if you control a swamp.

24 x Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

24 x Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

23 x Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.

(107) Total

A normal control deck would run about 24 lands in a 60 card deck (40% of the deck). This deck runs 107 lands in a 255 card deck (42% of the deck) for color smoothing and to limit the variability of a 251 card deck.

If you count the 32 tutors and the 4 Battle of Wits
Battle of Wits
Battle of WitsSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
69
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 200 or more cards in your library, you win the game.
, that’s a total of 36 ways for your win condition or drawing a way to get your win condition 1 out of every 7.08 Cards. That being said you should have a way to win the game by the time you have enough manna to play your win condition.

Possible considerations for the deck are some extra card drawing mechanisms, but you have to keep in mind that you need at least 200 cards in your library to satisfy the win condition. I am considering adding a couple of creatures (Morphling
Morphling
MorphlingSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shapeshifter
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
rk post
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
U: Untap Morphling.U: Morphling gains flying until end of turn.U: Morphling cannot be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.1: Morphling gets +1/-1 until end of turn.1: Morphling gets -1/+1 until end of turn.
for example), but I think the deck is going to be consistent enough without the extra cards. With all of the tutors, the number of global removal spells might be able to be reduced, but until a more established metagame is formed, I am going under the assumption that creature based win conditions will be in force. Add in the fact that you are most likely not going into a situation that decking is a viable win condition, the extra precautions of the global removal seem to be in the right place at this time.

Thus far in testing, this deck has been a lot of fun to play. With the acceleration and control aspects, it has been working more consistently than I first thought it would. As said above, with all of the rotations, there is not a formed metagame to run this deck thru testing, but the limited testing I have done has been encouraging. If the environment is not dominated by a pure control deck (which may be viable in a mono blue build) this deck could be a force to be reckoned with.

As always, questions and comments are appreciated.

Thanks for reading,


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